Bending is an operation that can be found in nearly all sheet metal workshops. In the part manufacturing workflow, it represents a major challenge in terms of dimensional tolerance respect and cost optimization. Furthermore it is quite often the bottleneck of the plant. The use of almaCAM Bend software to program CNC press brakes significantly increases the productivity of these machines, speeds up production and eliminates costly programming errors.
Bending, which applies to sheets from 1- to more than 20 mm-thick, is a cold forming operation of flat sheets by permanent deformation. The sheet is first positioned over a die (or V block), fixed on previously positioned back gauges; then a force is applied to the piece of sheet metal with a matching punch. The required strain to obtain the desired fold depends on the sheet metal elastic limit, the sheet thickness, the fold length and direction.
There are different types of bending methods:
The press brake can be associated with a numerical control in order to assist the operators with their tasks. The numerical control can manage the back gauge position, the coining speed, the tool stoke etc.
Press-brake manufacturers offer three different technologies:
Press brakes can be connected to a robot to automate the part bending process (with no human operator). The use of these machines is very dependent on the types of parts to manufacture as well as the quantity of part units to produce.
The almaCAM Bend software product can simulate the complete bending process and remotely program the leading brands of CNC press brakes in a highly automated way.
almaCAM Bend is proposed with Unfold, Alma’s module for unfolding sheet metal parts. From the model of the part designed in Unfold or imported from an external CAD software, programming the press brakes can be easily managed with almaCAM Bend: fold sequencing, tool selection, back gauge positioning, 3D realistic simulation, NC program and full workshop document generation.
almaCAM Bend increases the press brake utilization rate by reducing their idle periods. As an off-line programming solution, almaCAM Bend helps to eliminate potential expensive programming mistakes before launching manufacturing and to reduce the press brake programming cycle. almaCAM Bend provides a unique programming environment of all CNC press brakes of the workshop, which allows easily changing the machine during the programming step.